We all know that the food we eat has a huge affect on our health. There are countless documentaries out there about the food industry and how processed foods are slowly killing us. You probably know at least one vegan, one vegetarian, and a couple people who are gluten-free. Everyone has their own food-related rules they follow, because the information about what is and isn't good for you seems endless.
While you might think a bad diet is something that effects you over time and there's nothing wrong with indulging once in awhile, there are certain foods that will affect you almost immediately. People who are lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant know that all too well. For some people health problems related to diet seem too abstract to worry about, but what about when you look in the mirror and can see the affects a certain food has on your face and body staring back at you?
Ever had someone ask you if you got enough sleep last night? You probably ate one of these foods that makes you look tired. It's not always extremely noticeable, but if you overdo it, you might start to feel just as tired as you look.
The variety of microwave dinners available these days is immense. You can get every pasta dish imaginable, ethnic dishes, classic meat and potato options, and even pre-prepared sandwiches. As convenient as they are, and as tempting as it can be to stock up when they're on sale, these dinners are full of salt. For example, according to Good Guide a Stouffer's Salisbury steak frozen dinner has 1820mg of sodium. That's 75% of your daily recommended sodium intake. Too much salt in your diet will dehydrate you, leaving your skin looking dry.
You might think drinking diet soda instead of regular is better for you, but to be honest, it's just as bad. Most diet soft drinks are sweetened with aspartame which has been found to be extremely bad for you. Synthetic sweeteners in general affect digestion causing bloating and weight gain, neither of which is good for your sleeping habits or your physical appearance. The caffeine in soft drinks can also affect the quality of sleep you're getting, which of course will end up making you look tired-- because well, you are tired. If that isn't enough, there are plenty of real health problems too much aspartame can cause.
Anything more than a glass of wine or two with dinner has the potential to seriously dehydrate you, leaving your skin dry. If you've ever overindulged while out at the bar one night, you know that a hangover doesn't do much for your looks either. Too much booze will affect the quality the sleep you're getting, because even though alcohol is a sedative, if you drink too much you'll end up feeling sick and waking up multiple times during the night. Drinking lots of water can help reduce the severity of a hangover, but so can drinking just a little bit less booze.
Actually, as you probably already know, anything deep fried is guaranteed to wreak havoc on not only your skin, but on your health in general. Our skin needs fat in order to stay healthy and young looking, but it's better to stick with natural raw fats that you get from foods like fish and avocado. Deep fried food is full of saturated fat which will cause breakouts, premature aging, and sallow looking skin. After awhile your skin will lose elasticity, making you look tired, and older than you are.
Giving up pizza completely is no way to live, but cutting back on carbohydrates in general is important if you want your skin to keep its young, healthy glow. We all need carbs for energy, but the fact is, there are good carbs, and bad carbs, and pizza generally falls into the bad carbs category. Also, on average, a slice of pepperoni pizza contains 311 calories, 13.5g of fat, and 720mg of sodium. Having a slice of pizza every once in awhile shouldn't be a big deal if you're generally healthy, but if you eat too much (which is bound to happen with pizza) you'll end up feeling bloated and sluggish, which is going to contribute to the way you look.
Donuts and other sugary carb-heavy baked goods are often available for breakfast, but they definitely aren't the best option if you want to eat healthy and have enough energy to make it through until lunch. Simple sugars will make you feel full and give you a boost of energy at first, but it won't last long before you crash and start to feel tired and hungry again. Sugar in your diet should be kept to a minimum because it's just empty calories, which definitely isn't what you want when you're trying to eat smart.
Candy, which can include anything from Sour Patch Kids, to M&M's, to lollipops, to Jelly Beans and much more is full of sugar. Most of it is made with high fructose corn syrup which isn't something your body needs a lot of. When you eat that much sugar, your body has a hard time digesting it efficiently and it gets stored as fat. Your brain also doesn't recognize fructose as a substance that will make you full, so even though you're consuming a bunch of calories, you'll still feel hungry. Eating candy in place of an actual meal with fiber and protein will end up giving you a sugar high for a little while, and then you'll crash, feeling tired and hungry again in no time. Since candy is just empty calories with no nutrition it's not good for your skin or your general health, which ends up reflecting in the way you look.
Chips, pretzels and other salty snack foods are bad for you because they contain a high sodium, fat, and carb content with little nutritional value. Not that you ever thought eating a bag of chips would help you stay in shape, but did you know it's also aging you and making you look tired? The salt is the main culprit because it makes you retain water and ends up giving you bags under your eyes. Since salty snacks are often a go-to for people as a late-night snack, while they're sleeping their body will be working to balance out all the sodium they just consumed and that makes water travel to the face, especially under the eyes.
Processed meat like cold cuts, bacon, and sausage all contain a high level of sodium. They also have a lot of chemicals and preservatives that do who knows what to your body. There is even research that suggests eating too much processed meat will increase your risk of cancer. As we eat other salty foods, the salt in processed meats will make you look and feel bloated, which leads to bags under your eyes. The rest of the unhealthy ingredients in processed meats will slowly affect your health leading to disrupted sleeping habits and therefore you won't get the rest you need and you'll look just as tired as you feel.
A poutine is all carbs, salt, and fat, all of which we know are bad for our skin and health in large quantities. It doesn't help that people often eat poutine late at night after drinking excessively. Just like with chips, fried foods, and other carbs, the ingredients of a poutine will make you retain water and give you bags under your eyes. But instead of being just one bad food, it's a bunch of them combined. That means the negative effects they each have on their own are piled on top of each other, and you'll end up looking and feeling like you didn't get any sleep at all. In addition, some people have a mild lactose intolerance and don't even know it, which can cause dark circles under the eyes.
Chicken wings may have protein your body needs, but they're also often battered and deep fried, and coated in a high-sugar BBQ sauce. Add some spice to that and you're guaranteed to look like you pulled an all-nighter last night. Depending on how hot you like your wings, the spice could cause acid re flux and heartburn which will interfere with the quality of the sleep you're getting. Add that to the extra sugar and salt you consumed, and you're going to retain some water and end up with a puffy face. Probably not worth the small amount of protein you're getting from those wings.
People drink energy drinks like Monster, Red Bull and countless other brands to give themselves more energy, right? The caffeine and sugar gives them a boost and keeps them moving. But just like other things with a lot of sugar, there's going to be a crash. A Monster energy drink like the one above contains 92mg of caffeine in an 8 fluid oz serving. A cup of coffee varies in caffeine content but on average is around 100mg. But coffee doesn't have a bunch of extra sugar in it. Caffeine might keep you awake, but that also means it's affecting your sleep habits, which will end up making you look tired.
We all need carbs for energy, but the best kinds of carbs are complex. Whole grains, brown rice, and potatoes are good carbs that will give you lasting energy and nutritional benefits at the same time. You need lots of fiber to stay healthy, so fruits and vegetables are a great source of healthy carbs as well. Baked goods like muffins, white bread, and pastries are the things that will make you gain weight and affect your sleep habits. They'll give you a burst of energy, but they won't offer anything else of value and you'll end up hungry again in no time. Not to mention they usually contain a lot of sugar which we already know is bad for our skin and health.